udupi sambar recipe, how to make udupi sambar recipe | sambar recipes

4.19 from 11 votes

udupi sambar recipe - lightly sweet, semi spiced, tangy and a flavorful sambar made with pigeon pea lentils and mixed vegetables

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udupi sambar recipe with step by step photos. udipi sambar is one sambar that i have had many times in the udupi restaurants in mumbai as well as bangalore. then i never liked the mild sweetness that would be in the sambar.

udipi sambar

at home the sambars we made were never sweet. so, i could not figure out why jaggery in the sambar. after years, i have started to relish and enjoy the subtle sweetnees in sambar and even in dal and kadhis.

the sambar is famous after the temple town of udupi. udupi city is famous for its sai krishna temple and udupi cuisine. udupi cuisine is purely vegetarian.

whenever you are looking for purely vegetarian restaurant in south india then the tag of udupi restaurant means they serve totally vegetarian food. similarly in north india the ‘vaishno’ tag with a dhaba or restaurant, means they serve purely vegetarian food.

udupi food is satvik without the use of onion and garlic. the famous masala dosa has its origin in udupi cuisine and here now i am sharing the recipe of udupi sambar.

i have added small sambar onions to the recipe but you can skip it you want a satvik & a no onion no garlic sambar.

fresh roasted spices are used in the sambar. these spices are ground later to a smooth paste along with coconut. as we all know when we add fresh spices to any food, magic happens. you don’t need to add any ready sambar powder to make the udupi sambar.

unlike the kerala sambarthis udupi sambar has slight sweet taste with a bit of spiciness. the sambar also has coconut in it. lightly spiced, sour, slightly sweet and aromatic. the sambar is served with idlis or dosa. also goes well with some steamed rice.

here i have added veggies like drumsticks, aubergines, bottle gourd (lauki)and sambar onions. do use veggies which are generally used in sambar. the recipe is very easy and simple to make.

i served the udupi sambar with some rice as well as mysore masala dosa.

p.s – here’s one interesting and endearing post i read on udupi cuisine….  going back to one’s roots.

udipi sambar recipe

if you are looking for more sambar recipes then do check:

udupi sambar recipe card below:

udupi sambar recipe
4.19 from 11 votes
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udupi sambar recipe

udupi sambar recipe - lightly sweet, semi spiced, tangy and a flavorful sambar made with pigeon pea lentils and mixed vegetables

course main course
cuisine south indian
prep time 30 minutes
cook time 20 minutes
total time 50 minutes
servings 4
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

for the sambar:

  • cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils)
  • 2 cups water for pressure cooking dal
  • 5 to 6 sambar onions (shallots) OR 1 medium sized onion - quartered (optional)
  • 1 carrot - peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped lauki (bottle gourd or opo squash)
  • 2 to 3 small brinjals (baingan or aubergine) - quartered
  • 1 or 2 drumsticks - peeled and cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized tomato - diced
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
  • 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind soaked in ⅓ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons jaggery or as add as required
  • 2 cups water for cooking veggies
  • salt as required

for sambar powder:

  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  • 2 teaspoons urad dal (husked and split black gram)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (husked and split bengal gram)
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 to 4 byadagi dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch) or kashmiri red chilies
  • ¼ cup grated fresh coconut or desiccated coconut
  • cup water for grinding or add as required

for tempering:

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  • 2 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch)
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
  • 1 or 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • some coriander leaves for garnish (optional)

how to make recipe

making udipi sambar powder:

  1. dry roast only the spices mentioned under sambar powder.
  2. when cooled, grind to a fine paste with some water along with grated coconut.

making udipi sambar:

  1. pressure cook tuvar dal with 2 cups water with ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder for 7 to 8 whistles on medium flame. 

  2. when the dal is cooked and soft, mash the dal with a wired whisk or a spoon. keep aside.

  3. in another pan, mix the chopped veggies, 2 cups water, turmeric powder, salt and cook till the veggies are almost done.

  4. add the mashed dal to the veggies.
  5. stir and add the tamarind pulp followed by the sambar masala paste.
  6. if required you can add some water.
  7. add the jaggery also and stir.
  8. simmer for some 10-12 minutes or more, till the raw aroma of the tamarind has disappeared and the whole flavors in the udupi sambar have merged with each other.

  9. taste and if required add salt.

making tempering for udupi sambar:

  1. heat oil. first splutter the mustard seeds.

  2. then add the red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  3. fry for some seconds and pour the tempering mixture in the sambar.
  4. cover the udupi sambar pan with a lid for a few minutes, so that the tempering flavors gets mixed with the udupi sambar.

  5. serve the udupi sambar with idli, dosa or steamed rice.

how to make udupi sambar recipe:

preparing the sambar powder:

1. keep all the ingredients required for making sambar powder ready. the ingredients required are 3 teaspoons coriander seeds, 2 teaspoons urad dal, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon chana dal, ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida (hing) and 3 to 4 dry red chilies. do note that as a reader had suggested in the comments, you can also add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf).

udipi sambar recipe

2. dry roast only the spices mentioned above for the sambar powder on a low flame till they become aromatic.

udipi sambar recipe

3. when cooled, add the roasted spices in a grinder jar. also add ⅓ cup water (or as required) and ¼ cup grated coconut. grind to a fine paste. you can also use desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut.

udipi sambar recipe

4. this is how the paste will look like.

udipi sambar recipe

making udupi sambar:

5. in a pressure cooker add ⅓ cup tuvar dal (arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils) and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi).

udipi sambar recipe

6. add 2 cups water and pressure cook the dal for 7 to 8 whistles in medium flame or till the dal is well cooked and softened.

udipi sambar recipe

7. meanwhile when the dal is cooking, soak 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind (imli) in ⅓ cup hot water.

udipi sambar recipe

8. once the pressure settles down, then remove the lid.

udipi sambar recipe

10. mash the dal with a wired whisk or a spoon. keep aside.

udipi sambar recipe

11. in another pan, mix 5 to 6 quartered sambar onions (pearl onions), 1 chopped carrot, ½ cup chopped lauki (bottle gourd), 2 to 3 quartered small brinjals, 1 to 2 drumsticks peeled and cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces, 8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta) and 1 medium sized tomato diced. also add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi).

udipi sambar recipe

12. next add 2 cups water.

udipi sambar recipe

13. cover the pan.

udipi sambar recipe

14. cook till the veggies are almost done.

udipi sambar recipe

15. add the mashed dal to the veggies.

udipi sambar recipe

16. stir and mix well.

udipi sambar recipe

17. squeeze the tamarind pulp.

udipi sambar recipe

18. stir and add the tamarind pulp. you can also use a mesh strainer.

udipi sambar recipe

19. next add the ground udipi sambar masala paste.

udipi sambar recipe

20. if required you can add some water. i added ¼ cup water. also add salt as required.

udipi sambar recipe

21. add 1 to 2 teaspoons jaggery powder or grated jaggery.

udipi sambar recipe

22. stir and mix well.

udipi sambar recipe

23. simmer for some 10-12 minutes or more. you have to simmer the udupi sambar, till the raw aroma of the tamarind has disappeared and the whole flavors in the sambar have merged with each other. taste the udupi sambar and if required add more salt.

udipi sambar recipe

making tempering for udupi sambar:

24. heat  . first splutter 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds (rai).

udipi sambar recipe

25. then add 2 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch), 8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta) and 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing).

udipi sambar recipe

26. fry for some seconds.

udipi sambar recipe

27. pour the tempering mixture in the udupi sambar.

udipi sambar recipe

28. stir and mix well.

udipi sambar recipe

29. cover the udupi sambar pan with a lid for a few minutes, so that the tempering flavors gets mixed with the udupi sambar.

udipi sambar recipe

30. serve the udupi sambar with idli, dosa or steamed rice.

udipi sambar

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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  1. Hi Dassana,
    Could you please tell if it 3 tsp coriander seeds or three tablespoons, as in the picture the quantity appeared less..
    Thank you..

    • its 3 teaspoons coriander seeds. thank you for letting me know. its a typo error on my part. so you can use 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds.

  2. Can you tell me in grams measure of tuvar dal and sambar onions.Also what kind of dry chillies you used in your recipe.I just finished cooking tomato sambar recipe of yours.Very very tasty.Thanks for the recipe of tomato sambar.Next time I want to try udupi sambar.

    • barb, half cup tuvar dal is 95 grams. sambar onions in weight is about 35 to 40 grams. you can add more sambar onions if you want. here i have used stick chilies. they are medium spicy. for this recipe, i would suggest to use byadagi chilies. you can use 4 to 5 byadagi chilies. also thanks for the feedback on tomato sambar. nice to know ?

  3. Hi,

    When do you add sambar onion

    • the sambar onion is cooked with the remaining veggies.

  4. OMG! I just made the best Sambar ever. Thanks a lot Dassana and Amit.

    • Welcome Jo. thanks for sharing positive feedback.

  5. It was awesome dasanna, superb with rice and ghee thank you for this.

    • welcome ramesh.